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Hadiza Bala-Usman reappointed NPA MD

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday announced the reappointment of Hadiza Bala-Usman as managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority for another five years.

The boards of the agency and that of the Transmission Company of Nigeria were also reconstituted.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed these in a statement titled “President Buhari re-appoints Hadiza Bala Usman as NPA MD, approves board members for NPA, TCN.”

According to the statement, members of the new TCN board will oversee the selection of a new Managing Director for the organisation.

It read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority for an additional five-year tenure.

“Also approved is the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Mr Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (from South-west zone) as Chairman.

“Other members of the board are Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu (South-East zone), Akinwunmi Ricketts (South-South zone), Ghazali Mohammed Mijinyawa (North-East zone), Mustapha Amin Dutse (North-West zone), and Abdulwahab Adesina (North-Central zone).

“The President has equally approved board members for the Transmission Company of Nigeria who will oversee the selection of a new Managing Director for the organisation.

They are Muhammad K. Ahmad, OON, (Chairman), Chief Henry Okolo, Imamudden Talba, Ambassador Usman Sarki, Ali Haruna, Engr. Simeone Atakulu, Zubaida Mahey Rasheed, Dr Mustapha Abiodun Akinkunmi, Engr. Oladele Amoda, and Dr Nkiru Balonwu.

Other members of the TCN Board are Representatives of Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Power, Bureau for Public Enterprise, FGN Power Company Limited, and Executive Management of TCN.

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Contractor hands over completed $1.5bn Lekki port, Lagos okays six-lane access road

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The construction of $1.5bn Lekki deep seaport has been completed and the facility handed over by the contractor, China Harbours, to the promoters.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the handover ceremony on Monday promised to expand the roads leading to the port to six lanes to ensure a seamless evacuation of cargoes from the port.

Sanwo-Olu also said that the port would make Nigeria a hub in the entire sub-region.

Sanwo-Olu said, ”We will stop at nothing to complete the roads leading to the port, all the shanties along the road will be cleared to give way for the expansion of the roads.

“With the port completed and a projected 1.2 million TEUs, Lagos has become a maritime hub.”

Chairman of the Board of port, Mr Abiodun Dabiri, said that the Lekki port would deliver on its promise to make Nigeria a hub in the sub-region.

Dabiri also said that the board was pleased  to celebrate the completion of construction of the port and the effective handover of the facilities by the contractor, China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise (CHELE), a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Company.

He said, “It has been a long journey of many steps. Starting from the time when Tolaram led by Pa Mohan Aswani sought to develop a deep seaport for the benefit of the Lagos Free Zone, and indeed all of Lagos State and Nigeria, to getting a concession from the Nigerian Ports Authority for a unique private public partnership port; getting a loan facility from China Development Bank to the infusion of equity capital in the sum of $221m by China Harbour Engineering Company to the start of construction in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. It has indeed been a journey.”

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Nigeria Customs still adopting physical examination as cargo scanners idle away – Report

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Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service are still glued wholly to physical examination of cargos at the seaports, despite the acquisition and deployment of scanners to the Apapa, Tin-Can Island, Lagos and Onne seaports Port Harcourt by the Federal Government.

The scanners are meant to speed up cargo inspection and quicken evacuation of imported cargoes from the seaports but the equipment has remained non-functional at the various entry points into the country.

Maritime experts say such physical examination by the NCS and other government agencies involved has increased the cargo dwell time by over 100 per cent.

For instance, while about 50 containers are physically examined at the Apapa port daily and 60 examined daily at Tin-can Island port presently, about 150 containers could be examined with the use of one scanner at Apapa and the number could double should both scanners be operational.

Leadership reports that the expectations that the deployment of scanners would bring a positive shift in cargo clearance, eliminate delays and enhance timely delivery of cargo to owners by clearing agents had been dashed.

It says with 100 per cent physical examination, importers incur huge demurrage charges from shipping companies and storage charges from terminal operators.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Port Consultative Forum (NPCF), Kunle Folarin, was quoted as saying the burden of the demurrage incurred by importers or consignees due to the lack of scanners at the ports would be passed to the consumer, which would create another level of inflation in the economy.

He said while Customs had settled for 100 per cent physical examination and inspection of cargoes, they would sabotage all efforts at ensuring scanners arrive and are installed at the ports due to the huge money they get illegally.

President of the Shippers Association of Lagos (SALS), Rev. Jonathan Nicol, said Nigeria was losing over N800 billion monthly due to lack of 24-hour seaport operation and about N9.6 trillion lost in a year.

According to Nicol, the port is a money-spinning machine, as payments are daily made to shipping companies, terminal operators, customs, transporters, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the ports.

-Report largely from Leadership

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Nigeria will phase out rickety vessels soon – NIMASA

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has unfolded plans to phase out old and rickety vessels from the nation’s waterways.

Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, stated this during a visit of the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, to the NIMASA head office in Lagos.

He said agency was helping to create a robust maritime sector through obtaining approval for physical and monetary incentives for ship owners to purchase brand new vessels at zero duty, while also assisting them get foreign exchange at the Central Bank of Nigeria rate.

Sambo commended the management of NIMASA for its capacity development initiative in the Nigerian maritime sector.

He applauded the agency for remaining focused in the delivery of its mandate, noting that the Agency has a better image than what it was ten years ago.

Sambo visited alongside the Minister of State, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, and the Permanent Secretary, Dr Magdalene Ajani.

He said, “NIMASA of today have come a long way from the NIMASA I knew ten years ago. I commend the entire Management and Staff of the Agency for raising the bar, it is a symbol of team work. I am impressed with the customer experience center and your efforts to attract young Nigerian into the maritime sector via various capacity development projects including the essay competition for secondary school students.”

Commenting on the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), the minister reiterated the commitment of the industry to work with the agency in ensuring it is disbursed to deserving beneficiaries, adding that it will further boost shipping activities in the country’s maritime sector.

“If there is a jinx about the CVFF, I am going to break it by getting it disbursed to deserving Nigerians. If these funds are disbursed, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the Federal Ministry of Transportation will take credit, while it remains a legacy in your administration,” the minister said.

Sambo called for more synergy between NIMASA and other parastatals under the supervision of the ministry, in addition to the Nigerian Navy and members of the Nigerian Armed forces towards ensuring the success of the Deep Blue Project is a success.

Jamoh thanked the minister for his dynamic leadership in steering the affairs of the ministry, while also assuring that the Agency remains committed to actualizing its mandate as stipulated in the four enabling Acts of the National assembly for a robust and attractive maritime sector in Nigeria.

The NIMASA DG informed the minister that under the Deep Blue Project, 600 Special Forces from the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Department of State Security, among others are undergoing training for special skills to ensure effective implementation of the Project. The intent is to ensure that the nation’s waterways remain safe from all forms of criminalities.

Jamoh also informed the minister that under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) scheme, over 2,000 Nigerians had undergone training, out of which about 800 are actively engaged in various ships, with a huge number of them working on the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) ships.

He added that NIMASA was developing a National Ship Building and Infrastructure Development Strategy, aimed at bridging the gap of capacity building for trained seafarers.

The minister also undertook a tour of the NIMASA Maritime Stakeholders Experience Contact Centre, MSECC.

The 24-hour centre serves as a platform for both internal and external stakeholders to resolve any issue within the stipulated 24 hours.

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